LI council asks state for $36M in development funds

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is seeking $4 million in state aid to help combat excessive levels of nitrogen from sources such as wastewater and septic systems. The toxins harm the salt marshes on Long Island that are critical in protecting coastal communities from storm surges and flooding. Photo Credit: NPS / Diane Abell

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The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Friday requested $36 million in state aid for 43 building projects, educational efforts and company expansions as part of an annual competition.

Among the initiatives being endorsed are a new research center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, sewer work in Suffolk County, reconstruction linked to superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the expansion of several manufacturers.

The local funding proposal will vie with those of nine other councils across New York for a portion of up to $750 million in grants and state tax credits.

Winners will be announced in the fall by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who established the contest in 2011. Since then Long Island has been a big winner twice and secured a total of more than $244 million for 250 projects.

"Our economy, though improving, remains as fragile as the psyches of many residents whenever the forecast is heavy rain," the council wrote in its 175-page proposal, referring to Sandy.

The council has requested the largest state award, $4 million, go to sewer projects in Suffolk County.

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The most valuable state tax credits, $1.5 million each, would go to drug companies CareMed Pharmaceutical Services in Lake Success and A&Z Pharmaceutical Inc. in Deer Park. Together, they would create 362 jobs and protect another 156.

These and other funding recommendations are designed to build "an innovation economy" that replaces high-paying jobs lost in the defense industry and to keep young people here, said council co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University.

An endorsement from the council, which consists of business executives, union leaders and educators, doesn't guarantee state aid but is necessary to be considered. Winners are determined by their score on a 100-point scale, with up to 20 points from the council and up to 80 points from the state agencies providing the funds.

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The council has long backed redevelopment of 77 acres around Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, known as the Nassau Hub. The council is now asking for $500,000 from the state for new roads and other infrastructure improvements, valued at $11.9 million. The work would support an entertainment district with tenants such as Chelsea Piers, a movie theater and restaurants.

Kevin Law, council co-vice chairman and president of the Long Island Association business group, said the council also is working with its counterparts in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley on an "Inter-Region Export Pipeline" to boost international trade: "You always want to export more than you import because that means jobs for the local area."

BOOSTING LI'S ECONOMY
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council Friday endorsed 43 local building projects, educational initiatives and business expansions for state aid. Here are some:

Sewers in Suffolk County: $4 million

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Research at Stony Brook University to secure the electric grid from terrorism attack: $2.5 million

A commercial building for the Wyandanch Rising blight-removal project: $2.5 million

New research center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: $2 million

Source:Report from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council titled, "Strong Island: A continuing story of recovery and resurgence."

CORRECTION: The Long Island Regional Economic Development has requested $36 million in state aid for local projects. The largest was $4 million for Suffolk County sewers. Other requests were for $2.5 million each for a research center at Stony Brook University and a Wyandanch Rising building, $2 million for a research center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and $1.25 million for business incubator services from Stony Brook University. This information was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

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